Although Hamlet shows himself as indecisive and insecure, towards the end of the story he does show some act of courage; enough to finally go and kill King Claudius. At first, he finds himself procrastinating at the matter, because he comes up behind King Claudius while he’s praying. He originally planned on killing him right then and there, but wait! Hamlet stops and lets his inner coward win over yet again. After a series of deep thoughts, he does decide to kill his uncle, and realizes that he must go through with his plan quickly, before Hamlet himself is killed.
This all sets the stage for Hamlet’s mental state prior to learning that he was killed by somebody in his family. These themes of death and betrayal lead into the end of the first act when Hamlet is tasked by the ghost of his father to seek revenge against Claudius for what he did. Hamlet believes that he was “born to set it right” (1.5.190). The extremes of this line reveal that Hamlet believes that the whole reason for his existence is to avenge his father. This need for revenge drives Hamlet for the rest of the play. He wants justice for his father, but he also wants to punish Claudius for his murder and marrying his mother. He gives in to human nature when he starts striving to avenge his father’s death.
Hamlet realizes how slow and hesitant he is to kill Claudius following the actor’s performance. He proclaims O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I:/ Is it not monstrous that this player here,/ But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,/ Could force his soul so to his own conceit/ That from her working all his visage wann’d,/ Tears in his eyes, distraction in ‘s aspect,/ A broken voice, and his whole function suiting/ With forms to his conceit?/and all for nothing!” (2.2.53-60)
Hamlet had the opportunity to kill Claudius at the chapel but restrained himself, he believed it was too good of a death for Claudius and that if he were killed his sins would be forgiven. This shows his lack of action and proves he is a procrastinator. In his soliloquies he constantly criticizes himself for the obvious avoidance of responsibility saying, "Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat, as deep as to the lungs? who does me this?" (Act 2 Sc. 2, 571-575)
Hamlet really wanted the revenge on Claudius but was really on the fence of what to actually do to follow through with then plan. Claudius was brave to feel so free, as Hamlet had opportunities to take advantage of him and had plenty of hate towards him for more than one reason. The action Hamlet may want and outcome of it, may be completely different as to what his father would do or like him to do.
In the book of Hamlet there were many opportunities to take his revenge but Hamlet found reasons not to. He always found ways to procrastinate until the end of the book. It came to a point where he was a danger to everyone around him. If he would have killed Claudius the first chance he got many lives could have been spared. Hamlet has proved throughout the story he had difficulty taking his revenge by killing King Claudius.
In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet, a studious young man and Prince of Denmark, struggles to face the death of his father and the task to kill his father’s murderer, Claudius. He was once known as a charming, smart young man before his father’s death. However, Hamlet experiences depression and anger at the world, causing him to look outwardly on society but failing to look inwardly on himself. The death of his father and the task for vengeance leads him to question whether or not he should follow through in killing Claudius. He becomes a man of thought rather than a man of action. In addition, the delay of King Claudius’ murder leads the readers to believe that he wishes not to kill him; he
Further evidence of Hamlet's tragic flaw can be found in act III, scene 3. At this point, Hamlet is sure of Claudius' guilt, and has even declared that "Now could I drink hot blood and do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on." (p. 99 lines 406-408) He comes to find King Claudius alone, and recognizes it as an opportunity to act, but almost immediately talks himself out of action on the bases that the King is praying, and will therefore go to heaven. He decides yet again to delay avenging his father's murder, this time until he can kill the King while he is in a vile condition, such as "When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage; Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed." (p. 103 lines 89-90) Hamlet has failed to act for so long that the Ghost soon comes back to remind him of his duty.
Hamlet is considered to be Shakespeare's most famous play. The play is about Prince Hamlet and his struggles with the new marriage of his mother, Gertrude, and his uncle and now stepfather, King Claudius about only two months after his father’s death. Hamlet has an encounter with his father, Old King Hamlet, in ghost form. His father accuses Claudius of killing him and tells Hamlet to avenge his death. Hamlet is infuriated by this news and then begins his thoughts on what to do to get revenge. Hamlet and Claudius are contrasting characters. They do share similarities, however, their profound differences are what divides them.Hamlet was portrayed as troubled, inactive, and impulsive at times. Hamlet is troubled by many things, but the main source of his problems come from the the death of his father. “Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, or that the everlasting had not fixed his canon 'gainst self-slaughter” (Act 1, Scene 2). In this scene, Hamlet is contemplating suicide, which is caused by the death of his father and the new marriage of Gertrude and King Claudius. This scene shows the extent of how troubled Hamlet is. Even though Hamlet’s father asked him to avenge his death, Hamlet is very slow to act on this throughout the play. “Now might I do it pat. Now he is a-praying. And now I’ll do ’t. And so he goes to heaven. And so am I revenged.—That would be scanned. A villain kills my father, and, for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” (Act 3, Scene 3). This scene shows King Claudius praying, while Hamlet is behind him drawing his sword but decides not to kill
This, in turn, exploits Hamlet’s similar flaw of ego and furthers the conflict, but what’s more, it illustrates Claudius’ sheer audacity and lack of repentance. He continues to try to cover up the sin and appease Hamlet into complacency rather than confess and ask for forgiveness. In a mark of pure arrogance, Claudius tells Hamlet to “throw to earth / This unprevailing woe and think of us / As of a father”, conceitedly requesting that Hamlet merely forget the murder and replace his father with the murderer himself (I, ii, 110-112). Similarly, instead of directly confronting Hamlet about his mental condition, the king more or less hires Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on the prince, again cementing his smug mindset. The king does not believe he can be caught or, rather, that Hamlet is competent enough to figure out his plan and foil him. Claudius, too, thinks only of himself after Hamlet’s inadvertent killing of Polonius, pondering “how shall this bloody deed be answered? / It will be laid to us” instead of considering the ramifications of the murder with respect to Hamlet (4.1.17-18). The other two paper-thin traps the king hatches only reinforce his failure to see beyond the apparent; his attempt to deport Hamlet to England and have him killed reeks of treachery and, luckily, Hamlet realizes the king’s subterfuge, crushing the plot and flipping it back on him. Claudius remains steadfast in his efforts to remove Hamlet, going so far as to set up a
Hamlet soon resolves to take action. He sets up a play to trap Claudius so he can find out if the ghost was telling the truth. This is his intelligence and craft. He will not impulsively commit murder because of the word of a ghost who seemed to be his dead father. When he meets with his mother later, he is very angry and emotional and kills Polonius believing it was Claudius. Hamlet shows himself to be a man of action before thought in this case. He is rather cold that he is not terribly sorry about this accidental death but does show genuine concern for his mother which leads him to fits of intense emotion.
Hamlet’s plot to avenge his father’s death is ultimately driven by his passion and emotions, but his reasoning plays a role in the story as he considers the impact of certain actions. In scene three of act three, Hamlet finally receives an opportunity to carry out his plan. As Claudius is kneeling in prayer, the prince pulls out a sword and prepares to kill his father’s murderer. In this moment, he is driven by anger and bitterness, however, he suddenly has a realization and thinks logically. If he kills the man as he is praying, he will not suffer, but rather will go straight to heaven. Hamlet decides
In Act 3 Hamlet finally decides that now is the time for action, he must betray both Claudius and Ophelia if he is to get anywhere. The first scene in act 3 includes Hamlet acting berzerk towards Ophelia while Claudius and Polonius watch from the shadows. In this scene the pride of Polonius is what will lead to his demise. Due to Polonius thinking so very highly of himself, he must get involved in the affairs of Hamlet and Ophelia. This ends up draws him into
Unlike Hamlet though, Claudius thinks about his actions because he wants to make sure he makes a decision that will be the best for him. He knows if he just kills Hamlet the people of the kingdom will turn on him because of the love they all share for Hamlet. He sends in Rozencrantz and Guildenstern to find out what is wrong with Hamlet so that Claudius can decide what to do from there. His decision to send Rozencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on and talk to Hamlet is illustrated when he says, “So by your companies/To draw him on pleasures, and to gather/So much as from occasion you may glean/[Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus]/That opened lies within our remedy” (II.II.14-18). Claudius and Hamlet are both extremely sly and cunning and posses similarities with their ability to act, but this could merely be because of the education they both have which has brought them common sense and the ability to think before acting. One major difference of their ability to act is when Hamlet acts on impulse and kills Claudius’ advisor Polonius. Hamlet unlike Claudius has so much anger built up inside of him because of his father’s death and it kept building and building until he finally let it out when talking to his mother about Claudius. He heard a noise from behind a curtain which was Polonius’, and without thinking Hamlet stabs him releasing some of his pent up aggression. Hamlet shows the anger he has within when he says, “A bloody deed-almost as
Who knows if Hamlet would even have killed Claudius if not for Claudius acting first, to try to kill Hamlet. At times Hamlet is brave, as evidenced when he stabs through Gertrude’s curtains to kill the spy whom he assumes is Claudius, only to find out it is Polonius. Other times, Hamlet is a coward as evidenced in his soliloquy Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing; no, not for a king, Upon whose property and most dear life A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward? (2.ii 540-543) Here Hamlet laments about his lack of energy to concoct a plan to kill the king which leads him to believe he himself is a coward.